GUWAHATI, Oct 10: Even as the NRC updating process is on, the Election department of Assam has newly assigned the tag of Doubtful or ‘D’ voters to 2,952 persons in its electoral roll since 2016 to the recent draft photo electoral roll 2019.
According to the information provided by the State Election department, the highest number (1,160) of ‘D’ voters has been listed in the Goalpara election district (ED). Some of the other EDs having ‘D’ voters are Hojai (455); Chirang (238); Nalbari (232); Udalguri (179); Nagaon (177); Bongaigaon (174); and Dibrugarh (58) among others. There are 50 EDs in Assam.
As per the recent ‘draft photo electoral roll of 2019’ published on September 15, 2018, there are a total of 1,19,559 ‘D’ voters in the State.
The concept of ‘D’ voters was first introduced in Assam in 1997 during an intensive summary revision of the electoral roll in the State. Assam is the only State in India where the ‘D’-voter concept is in use. There were then 2,20,209 ‘D’ voters in Assam in 1997.
According to rule, the ‘D’ voters can neither contest any elections nor cast votes in any elections conducted under the Constitution of India.
On the other hand, work on updating the National register of Citizens (NRC) commenced in Assam in 2015. The NRC authorities have kept the names of ‘D’ voters on hold till the Foreigners Tribunals’ verdicts declaring them either as Indians or as foreigners.